Tasmania Shadow Minister for Human Services Jacquie Petrusma
Disability Funding Dries Up – Hundreds Waiting
Victor P Taffa
The State Green-Labor Government has allocated funding for just two Individual Support Packages (ISPs) since December last year, despite hundreds of people with disability now on waiting lists, according to Shadow Minister for Human Services Jacquie Petrusma.
“There were 224 people waiting for an ISP in December but since funding has dried up, waiting lists have now grown to 285 Statewide according to the Minister for Human Services, Cassy O’Connor, in Parliament today.” Ms. Petrusma said.
“By withholding funding, another 61 people have been added to waiting lists, and concerns have been raised with me there might not be more ISPs allocated for another six months.”
“ISP funding is critical to people with a disability to either live independently in the community with in-home support for daily care needs, or receive that support in a residential facility. ISPs can also be used for respite, or equipment needs.” Ms. Petrusma said.
“Many of those requesting ISPs are parents with adult children with disabilities, who are ageing, perhaps frail, who have delivered care over a lifetime and can no longer do so.”
“Others are families with children with disabilities who have reached desperation point.”
“Some have been waiting for the past 12 years.” Ms. Petrusma said.
“When asked today in Parliament when Gateway services* could expect to pass on valuable ISP allocations to the most vulnerable, disadvantaged and in-need members of our community living with a disability, the Minister would only say she is having “conversations” with her Department.”
“Tasmanians with a disability, their families and carers will not be comforted by the Minister’s response today.”
“The budget mess created by the Green-Labor Government is now impacting on Tasmania’s most vulnerable citizens, and support for the most disadvantaged should not be an optional extra for this Government.” Ms. Petrusma said.
* Gateway services allocate ISP resource packages Statewide based on priority need, but do not fund them.